At least since Akerlof (1970), asymmetric information in the case of experience goods has been a central issue in the economic literature. This paper studies regulation in markets where the quality of the experience good is never completely verifiable by consumers even after purchase. In the proposed model firms can decide the quality of the good: always producing a high quality good creates a positive externality in the market, but it causes an incentive to the firms to deviate and produce low quality goods. The main policy instrument for the government, in order to maximize Social Welfare, is to fix a minimum quality standard, but imposing a too high standard might, in some cases, lower the average quality of the good in the market.
Keywords: Quality, standard, market regulation, experience goods, market failure, asymmetric information
Jel Code: L15, D82, K29